Donald Trump’s raucous rallies have been increasingly interrupted by protesters as he has extended his lead in the Republican presidential race, and the New York billionaire doesn’t take kindly to it: After being interrupted by a man during an event last month, he declared, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
Now, Trump’s supporters are granting his wish.
After several Black Lives Matters protesters disrupted a Trump campaign event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, last night, a white attendee sucker-punched a protester in the face as he was being led out of the arena. Shortly thereafter, security guards intervened—but only to tackle the protester, taking no action against his attacker.
“The police jumped on me like I was the one swinging,” Rakeem Jones, the man who was hit, told The Washington Post. “My eye still hurts. It’s just shocking. The shock of it all is starting to set in. It’s like this dude really hit me and they let him get away with it. I was basically in police custody and got hit.”
The attack on Jones follows another incident in Louisville, Kentucky, when Trump supporters at a Super Tuesday rally repeatedly shoved and pushed a teenage African-American woman protesting the event:
Among the chief instigators at the Kentucky rally was a young man named Matthew Heimbach, a known white supremacist who was fired earlier this year from the Indiana Department of Child Services when his racist politics came to light.
“It’s only a matter of time until someone is killed or critically injured in one of these Trump rallies,” speculated Shaun King, a well-known Black Lives Matter activist. “This is America. 2016.”